A tightening of laws regarding short-term rentals in New York City could lead to the removal of as many as 10,000 Airbnb listings. The bid to tackle the city’s housing shortage has been met with mixed opinions.
Local Law 18 is set to come into effect at the beginning of March and could result in thousands of New York’s Airbnb listings being removed from the site.
The new law means that all short-term rentals must register with the city. It also imposes limits on the types of dwelling that can be listed.
The council’s aim is to make more long-term rentals available to New Yorkers to combat the housing shortage in the city.
Local Law 18 – New York City’s new law
Local Law 18 means that all short-term rental properties in New York must register with the city. It also outlines a set of criteria that a dwelling must meet in order to obtain this registration.
The law states that no more than two guests can stay at one time and these guests should have access to the entirety of the dwelling unit. The host must also, themselves, reside in the dwelling permanently.
On top of these criteria, the host must also prove that the dwelling meets safety regulations in compliance with existing laws.
Implications – what it all means
Experts estimate that Local Law 18 could result in the removal a quarter of the city’s 40,000 Airbnb listings.
The responsibility for upholding these new rules rests ultimately on Airbnb and similar companies. While it is up to the property owner to register, the company must ensure that hosts abide by the new legislation.
On the other hand, it is the host who will bear the brunt of any punishment. Anyone in violation faces a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.
Aims – what the city council hopes to achieve
The ultimate goal of Local Law 18 is to combat the city’s housing shortage and provide more homes for potential long-term tenants.
Executive director of New York City Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, Christian Klossner, described Airbnb as “tool for landlords that don’t want to be landlords.”
He added: “The city is in the middle of a housing shortage. Every unit of housing that’s only legal use is for permanent residency needs to be used as permanent residency.”
Klossner also pointed to the comfort and safety of neighbours of short-term rental properties as a reason for the new legislation. He argued that they often complain about noise, parties, and other disturbances.
Opponents of the law argue that property owners shouldn’t face such restrictions to their own homes. They also argue that the new regulations actually harm New Yorkers who rely on short-term rental options.